Saturday, March 1, 2008

Catch-up: Ontario, Stockholm, and final Turkey bits

Hi all,

I've been very remiss in keeping my Adventures up to date. So, I'm now posting photos from the end of Turkey, my trip to Sweden in November, and a trip to Ontario and Ann Arbor last weekend. (I know, Ontario and Ann Arbor doesn't seem like much of an adventure, but heck - I had to show my passport four times!)

I'll go in (chronologically) reverse order, for those who are too busy to look at photos from last June!

Ann Arbor - Ontario
Last weekend, I drove to Rob's house in Ontario (west of Guelph) and then we went on to Ann Arbor to see Geoff and others - and to eat like pigs. Very fun! The big gap however, was that Marn wasn't there. It's just not right without her.

Geoff and Rob at Leopold's- very typical. (I started to make a link to Leopold's - but their web site is so different from the L's of grad school days that I didn't even bother. They're closing anyway...)

The other bonus of the weekend was getting to see Rob's homeland. Dr. C has built himself quite the marvelous one-room house on some family property just spitting distance from his family farm. The house is straw-bale and off the grid - all his power is generated by the wind and sun.

The house with solar panels, wind turbine, and of course a barn.

Rob's 'bedroom' (left) and kitchen and bath (bathroom is behind that wall)

It was cold and absolutely beautiful the morning we left for A2 - so while RC went to do his chores on the farm, I took photos around his house.

and before I regretfully had to hit the road home, I got to see his cattle! In addition, we went to his parents where Mrs. C gave us hot tea and cookies; and his dad was watching curling on TV.

Thanksgiving week, I went to Sweden to be the external opponent on a Ph.D. defense. That in and of itself is worth pages of description - but you'll just get the short version.

Before I went to Linkoping for the defense, I had a couple of days to wander around Gamla Stan (oldtown) Stockholm.

This is the Swedish Academy, where the Nobel Prize committee meets!

The defense experience in Linkoping was phenomenal. I loved the process (though it kicked my butt!), and the people.

Jennie - a very relieved defendant! Jennie et al. at her celebratory dinner. The man to her left is her advisor, Per.

The tradition with this crew is that the grad students plan the evening's activities and the defendant has no idea what will happen. We did a lot of singing - much of it with Per and Jennie dressed in chicken costumes. It was hilarious! (Jennie did her research on junglefowl - the wild type of chickens.)

Turkey - Cappadochia

Cappadochia is known for their amazing landscape. Inside these spires (which were formed by erosion), people have carved out homes and churches. In fact, this was one of the strongholds of Christianity in the 14th (?) century. (FYI, these Turkey photos were taken by Samantha L.)

Inside these ancient churches are extensive and well-preserved paintings - astounding.


Here are some final photos taken on our last day in town.

The main family who took us in while we were in Elbeyli - Cemil and Halil; and the women and boys of their family. I'm sorry Dad isn't in this!

The fields looking very different than they did in spring.


The Blue Mosque at dusk.